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Thread: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

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    Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Hello, I moved in this house with a ~19,000 gallon pool, with a salt system running. I have been testing the water, showing chlorine normal alkalinity high, and I don't remember PH level now.

    Anyway, I used a water hardness test kit yesterday. My tap water is 10 gpg, considered medium hard I believe. But the pool water, man, I tell you, is at 42 gpg.

    Anybody know if the salt and chlorine may be interfering with the result? Could this high hardness due to water condensation over time?

    I do see quite some while flakes every week from my cleaner bag. Did they come from the salt water system's reaction plates as a by product of sodium to chlorine conversion? Or they are just a result of condensation from the water's high calcium content?

    Is this the time to drain the pool and refill with the 10 pgm medium hardness water? Heard first time earlier today that pool water is supposed to be replaced over every x years.

    I am new to pool and will be doing a lot reading here soon. Pls forgive me for questions that might have been answered. I have a few quick decisions to make including whether to install a softener and why.

    THANK YOU ALL!

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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    The white flakes are likely from the cell in the SWG. Most units reverse polarity to shed any scale buildup. What are you using to test your water? We normally see CH (calcium hardness) on a completely different scale with readings in the range of 350-450 as a goal. Using grains of hardness isn't a measurement most here will relate to.
    chiefwej
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Welcome to TFP Blue Horse.

    One of the first things that most people are going to tell you is that you are going to need to get one of the recommended test kits either the
    K -2006 or the TF- 100. Look under the Pool School tab. Until we can get some results from either one of these then it is going to be difficult to work out what's going on in your pool. I would hold off on any draining of your pool until you can get some accurate results.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    The parts per million equivalent is about 170 for your tap and 720 for your pool.

    You still need the right test kit because I am not sure what you are testing.

    Your pool water seems fairly high but let's find out just what you are testing and take it from there.

    "Fremont" doesn't help us....add a state or further definition to your geographic location, please.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    I updated my profile. Thanks Dave.

    I have the following two test kits. Can I still use them until run out or must go buy the Talor 2006 kit?

    Here are the test results of yesterday using what I have -

    1. Pentair R151186 78HR All in One 4 Way pH and Chlorine Test Kit from Amazon (Amazon.com : Pentair R151186 78HR All in One 4 Way pH and Chlorine Test Kit : Swimming Pool Chemicals And Supplies : Industrial Scientific)
    a. Chlorine 3.0~3.5
    b. PH 8.2
    c. Acid Demand- 3 drops needed and for 19K gallon pool that translates to 3 pint muriatic acid needed.
    d. Alkalinity- 90~100

    2. Water hardness test kit is Hach 145300 Total Hardness Test Kit, Model 5-B from Amazon (Hach 145300 Total Hardness Test Kit, Model 5-B: Air Tool Maintenance Kits: Amazon.com: Industrial Scientific)
    Result is 42 grain per gallon (gpg)

    3. Salt level: 4600 ppm per IntelliChlor
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    You should be using a Calcium Hardness test, not total hardness. I have a good idea your numbers will be much better when you test for CH and not TH.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Dave,

    You have a recommendation for calcium hardness test kit? Or cost wise, I should just buy the Taylor 2006 kit?

    Due to the perceived extreme hardness in my pool, I am in process of installing a water softener. Is it worthwhile to install it anyway given my tap water has medium hardness of 10 gpg?

    Thanks!
    19,000 gallon in ground with spa, STA-RITE System:3 filter, IntelliChlor SWG, Legend Platinum cleaner, Max-E-Therm 400 heater
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    I can perhaps suggest several options for you.........just tell us where Fremont is.

    Are you putting in the softener for your pool or regardless? I would wait and get a CH test result first, I think.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    You can live with CH beyond the normal range by watching the CSI. See Pool Math, it calculates CSI when you input TA, CH, and PH. I live with 490 CH, but it was as high as 600 until some partial drains lowered it. If you search the forum you will find others love with 600-800
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    I managed my pool all season last year with the CH well above 1,000. No scale whatsoever, in fact I never even had to clean the SWG cell. It takes some careful monitoring and balancing the CSI, but it can be done.
    chiefwej
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Dave,

    Fremont is in the silicon valley at California. We are about 45 miles south east of San Francisco.

    I am considering water softener for my house consumption (shower, cooking etc). If the pool can benefit from it too, I will do it right away. If adding soft water to my pool has no incremental benefit than using my 10 gpg tap water (or even hurt the pool), than I will not install it.

    To measure CH, shall I just buy the Talor 2006C kit? Or there is a better option for CH, and I can do the rest with my Pentair 78HR test kit?

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I can perhaps suggest several options for you.........just tell us where Fremont is.

    Are you putting in the softener for your pool or regardless? I would wait and get a CH test result first, I think.
    19,000 gallon in ground with spa, STA-RITE System:3 filter, IntelliChlor SWG, Legend Platinum cleaner, Max-E-Therm 400 heater
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    If you are planning on using this web site and following TFP guidelines, I recommend the TF-100 test kit. It give you everything you need and is designed to give the pool owner more of the test reagents you will need the most of. I would also highly recommend the SpeedStir. It may look like a gimmick but once you have one, it would be hard to do without.

    There are only a couple places than have the TF-100.
    chiefwej
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    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Welcome, Blue Horse. Are you on well water? Or is that city water?

    If you are, at 10 grains of hardness, that's a bit under the normal hardness that calls (loudly) for a softener...but is borderline, i believe. In this case, once you get the right test kit, (http://www.tfttestkits.net) you should be able to balance and manage your water...even if you choose to dilute it a little. (Yes, over time, calcium can concentrate with evaporation, or through the use of shock products like "cal hypo" that have calcium in them...if previous owner used same, that too could build up the hardness to four times of the tap. If your pool is plaster/gunnit, you need more hardness thn your tap water...if vinyl, not

    If your medium-to-hard hardness has you otherwise wanting a water softener and you decide to use same for pool for any reason, there are a few considerations:

    I use softened water now for my vinyl pool to reduce the iron load and metal staining (17 grains and well, so "very hard" by all accounts). One thing to note is that if you have a lot of evaporation etc. is that with a single tank system its possible to "tap out" of the treated water if you happen to be adding a few inches while the capacity on the softener is low/ready to regenerate. This year I switched to a dual tank system so that I never "tapped out" during top ups.

    In my case, the outdoor faucet next to the pool has been plumbed to the water softener system. Most outdoor faucets are normally bypassed, so you may want to have a plumber check that for you.

    In all, at your 10 grains, not sure I'd muck with a softener system unless you disliked your house water...because using it for a pool requires extra expense (eg double capacity), plumbing, and of course, heavy salt or potassium use...all things I'm not sure you need unless you're on well, have metal, or can't manage the hardness. But if you enjoy soft water, the extra steps are worth it pool wise
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Swampwoman, thanks for your input.

    My pipe to the pool is plumbed after the house. So the pool gets the same water as my house water. Today my cleaner picks up scales total about size of ping pong ball every week - thought that was due to high calcium hardness in water, but now I know there maybe other factors in play (e.g. high TA) which does not call for a water softener.

    To a lesser degree, I see white calcium at my shower faucets and my fresh water fish tank. Seems hard to believe 10 grains of hardness could have done that but it did.

    The pool is made of gunite. If 10 grain of hardness is not hard enough for gunite pool, that damps much of my desire for a softener. I am ordering the TF-100. Plan to get an accurate calcium hardness reading before buying the softener.

    - - - Updated - - -

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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    ^technically, 10 grains is still considered hard and if you have calcification at aquarium and shower head, that is a sign that your pipes, hot water heater, dishwasher, washing machine etc. will have scale too.

    If your pool reads in the 700s for calcium (which you will find out when you get your kit) then topping up with softened water would help you reduce it over time to the desired 300 range. Using the softener might also, over a much longer period of time, mean you occasionally need to top up the calcium to keep above the ideal 300-ish.

    Eg. By now, if my pool were gunnit, I'd need to add CH

    Upside is that if you do switch to softener you won't need to re plumb to get the softened water to the pool.
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Well, not as many options as I thought. Taylor nor TFTestkits sells a CH test as a stand-alone. I would suggest this (For about $15.00)...

    Order 1 ea of Reagents R-0010, R-0011L, and R-0012 and a graduated cylinder.....all found at TFTestkits. (or Taylor Technologies)

    Those are the components you need and you can simply get the directions for the test directly from that website.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Got my TF-100 kit today and here are the measurements.

    Chlorine 1.5
    Combined Chlorine 0
    Calcium Hardness 525
    TA 100
    CYA 20
    Salt 4200

    Pool temp is 64~67 during day time. The Chlorine level now seems a bit low. I had measurement of 3 in the summer (but I have since dialed down SWG from 60% working to 40% only.

    Surprisingly I have not seen much white flakes in the pool in last few weeks. Does this reduction in flakes have anything to do with pool temp has gone down from 80~88F in the summer (I have solar panel) to 65F now?

    Do I need higher Chlorine now it is colder whether?

    Looks like I should drain the pool a bit to reduce hardness down to 400ppm range? And buy some acid to increase CYA?

    Thanks!
    19,000 gallon in ground with spa, STA-RITE System:3 filter, IntelliChlor SWG, Legend Platinum cleaner, Max-E-Therm 400 heater
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    I am not far from you and my CH is regularly well above 400 ppm and right now it is around 625 ppm. One of the consequences of aquifer water and the drought but it can be managed. Just watch the CSI and keep it between -0.5 to -0.25 and you should be fine.


    Do I need higher Chlorine now it is colder whether?
    With an SWG, your CYA should be around 80 ppm and at that level, your FC should be about 4 ppm. However, FC does not drop as fast in the winter so you should be able to decrease the production setting.


    Looks like I should drain the pool a bit to reduce hardness down to 400ppm range? And buy some acid to increase CYA?
    Does Fremont not have water restrictions? Also, you buy CYA which is an acid but sold as CYA.
    Mark
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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    I am getting ready to add CYA to the pool (current at 20 ppm only). Local pool store recommends this Natural Chemistry 12306 Instant Conditioner- 1 Gal

    I thought CYA is acid, but this product has PH of 8.0 and is said to be salt. Is it an alternative to CYA or what? With my pool's measurement at high PH side, and high sale level already, I am wondering if it makes sense to use acidic CYA vs. this salt based conditioner?

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    Re: Newbie Q - Extremely hard pool water at 42 gpg !

    Before you drain you should run a calcium hardness test on your city water. That way you know what you are adding. More rain would help.
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